Top 10 Words Not to be Used in Sales Calls

Nowadays, most of the words used over sales calls are based on human intuition. But Human intuition has its limits. Our research suggests that there are a host of words that kill a sales deal.

The data science team at ODIO have analyzed 10000+ B2B sales call recordings using our conversational intelligence platform. Every call was recorded, transcribed from speech-to-text, and analyzed using our smart machine learning algorithms. We came up with these 10 phrases that can drop your sales conversion rates:

1. For Example

This is a sign of a lack of simplicity in communication. If you need an example, it’s a symptom that you’re not presenting your sales pitch in a way that the prospect can visualize themselves using without prodding on your part. You’re trying to force them to use their imagination. Your efforts should be spent in figuring out how to structure and deliver your demo in a way that automatically creates a mental picture. This requires a deep understanding of your prospect’s day-in-the-life.

2. Payment

The word “payment” at times is hurtful to listen when you’re the one to make the payment. Instead of saying Payment, we can use the word Amount. “Amount” is an objective, neutral word while “Payment” is emotionally charged.

3. However

Not only does the word “however” negate whatever you just said before it, it’s also a signal that your communication is too complex. If you find yourself saying “however” multiple times in one conversation, that likely means that you’re regularly presenting two opposing ideas or arguments, one after another. There is no need to pontificate every implication with excessive “however” instead you should make your point and move on

4. Perfect/Absolutely

According to the normal human intuition rightly assumed, it’s actually okay to use these words in moderation. But when the use per call is exceeded over four, advance rates drops by 16%. Nobody wants to hear anyone saying absolutely” and “perfect” in response to everything you say

5. Discount

When a sales guy uses the word “discount” during sales calls, the chances of closing the deal drops by 17%. At times sales professionals are misguided to believe that offering products at discounted price increases their odds of conversion, but this is not true. The sheer amount of SaaS solutions that are “discounted” the perception of being a commodity. When you do the same thing, you commoditize your product. This cheapens the value and makes the sales guy to concede instead of selling it. 

6. Show you how

It is observed that if this phrase is used more than 3 times in a single sales call, there are chances that you might not be able to convert the call. But there should not be anything wrong in explaining how your product works. The study shows that the repeated use of this word dropped closing rates by 12%. The logic is simple that how something works is secondary to why a prospect needs it. More time should be spent on the  “how” than on the “why”, the Why builds context for The How.

7. Contract

This word often twists most people’s minds. Everyone has their own baggage, memories, and emotional responses associated with this word. And it’s almost never a positive association. When this word is used by the seller, close rates decrease 7% from the average. A good alternative to this word can be “Agreement”

8. Competitor

When this word is used in a sales call, it becomes less likely than average to secure next steps, as well as close the deal. The word “competitor” comes across as abrasive, and creates the perception that you’re overly aggressive. You’re just in it to win, rather than serve the customer.

9. Free Trial

When these two words are used repeatedly in a sales calls it brings a cheapening effect on the prospect’s perception of value. When everyone in SaaS these days offers a “free trial,” you are categorized as just like other similar companies in the market. The negative impact of saying “free trial” is smaller than the others, but still worth noting: a 5% decrease in your likelihood of securing a next step which is ironic, given that “free trials” are often considered as next steps/milestones.

10. We provide

Our study suggests that repeated use of this phrase in sales call drops the rate of closing the call by 23%. Many marketing professionals use these sales words as a “template” for starting the delivery of their value proposition. But these words immediately put up walls of resistance in your prospect’s brain. They are interpreted by your prospect as “Incoming sales pitch!”, which likely affects your success rates.

Thank you for reading this article. For continued insights and in-depth discussions, please follow our blogs at Odio.

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